A creature in our pond.......

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Dances In Woods, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. Dances In Woods

    Dances In Woods Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    Yesterday I was watching the ducks/geese out on the pond. Then suddenly I saw something pretty large swimming all around the pond about 1.5acre. It wasn't a duck or goose. It didn't bother the waterfowl.

    Then I think I saw a head and then it went under and what looked like a flat tail. I think it was a beaver. (At least I hope its a beaver and not an alligator..)

    Beavers aren't real common in this area. If it is one, should I leave it alone? Will it kill the fish in my pond, what do they eat? thankfully it didn't seem interested in the geese/ducks.

    any advise or what else it could be?
    thanks
    chris
     
  2. Nan(TX)

    Nan(TX) Well-Known Member

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    It could have been a Nutria.
    [​IMG]
    Nutria
    Myocastor coypus

    A large, water-dwelling rodent, the Nutria often floats just under the surface with only its eyes and nose exposed. It is not a native North American but was introduced in Louisiana in the 1930s for its fur. Many Nutrias escaped from the fur farms, and before long there were enormous numbers in the wild. When populations are high, Nutrias may destroy stream banks, eat all the wild plants in an area, and raid rice and other crops.

    Look For: A large brown aquatic rodent with a long round tail. Lives in marshes but makes a burrow in the bank, not a lodge. Often grunts loudly, like a pig, at dusk
     

  3. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    might be a beaver
    could be a muskrat, too
    You should be able to see beaver damage on saplings
    maybe some dam building effort
     
  4. BJ

    BJ Well-Known Member

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    If it was a muskrat...watch for leaks in your dam. These critters are destructive to ponds. :waa:
     
  5. Dances In Woods

    Dances In Woods Well-Known Member

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    I think I'll grab a chair and sit on the pier tomorrow and see if I can get a better look at it.

    Is a muskrat and a nutria the same thing? I did a google search and couldn't tell the difference.
     
  6. Nan(TX)

    Nan(TX) Well-Known Member

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    No they are not the same.
    Nutria
    Family Myocastoridae : Myocastor coypus (Molina)
    Muskrat
    Family (Ondatra zibethicus)
     
  7. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know Nutria were in North America! I have seen them on t.v. in South America,and they look as big or bigger than a beaver.

    I do know about beaver from living in Canada and have beaver ponds. Here they are always near a tree source, preferring hardwoods like poplar. That is their food source and NOT fish. The flat tail and slapping sound you'll hear at night is a dead giveaway that you have a beaver in your water. They are attracted to moving water and continually will want to dam up a creek or small river so the level of the pond is raised closer to their food source (the trees). They flood alder swamps, though I doubt you have that down there. Beaver would be about the size of a medium sized dog plus the flat tail might add another foot or more to the animals length.

    Other than that, if it has a round long tail, and is a smaller creature, I'de guess it's a muskrat. They build small mound structures and will inhabit still waters.
    I don't think they eat fish, but if you have an otter that's another story. An otter loves eating fish in quantity and will hang around if that food is present. They are sleek animals with a tail that's not flat. They swim fast and will look like almost like a seal in the water or on land move along with an arched back. You'll know if you have an ottter. They can get quite used to you, but don't let their tame antics fool. They can be destructive buggers for fish or protein in the water like crayfish, frogs, etc. They don't care a hoot for vegetable matter in their diet.
     
  8. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    Many many years ago I drove from PA to Oregon so seek my fortune. ;-) Arrived close to New Year's Eve after driving through many miles of snow storms. Entering a strange new town for the first time- very late at night a nutria crossed the road in front of the car!!! OH NO! The Rats are huge here!!! What did I just do???? HEHE :haha: ;)

     
  9. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    muskratz will dig burrows in the muddy banks along the waterline, so look for chuck holes that look like whatever dug em has to swim to them.

    those would be muskratz....

    thats where they extract muskrat love from.

    "what makes the muskrat gaurd his musk?
    courage." ~the cowardly lion
     
  10. Nan(TX)

    Nan(TX) Well-Known Member

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    You'd think that people
    Would have had enough
    Of silly love songs

    Muskrat Love

    Muskrat, muskrat candlelight
    Doin' the town and doin' it right
    In the evenin'
    It's pretty pleasin'

    Muskrat Susie, Muskrat Sam
    Do the jitterbug out in muskrat land
    And they shimmy
    And Sammy's so skinny

    And they whirled and they twirled and they tangoed
    Singin' and jingin' the jango
    Floatin' like the heavens above
    It looks like muskrat love

    Nibbling on bacon, chewin' on cheese
    Sammy says to Susie "Honey, would you please be my missus?"
    And she say yes
    With her kisses

    And now he's ticklin' her fancy
    Rubbin' her toes
    Muzzle to muzzle, now anything goes
    As they wriggle, and Sue starts to giggle
     
  11. babetteq

    babetteq Well-Known Member

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    :haha: :haha: :haha:
     
  12. second_noah

    second_noah Local Yokel

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    Could it have been a snapping turtle? Or was it pretty obvious that it was some sort of mammal?
     
  13. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    First and only Nutria I ever saw was at San Marcos, TX. If you can see those orange teeth it is a dead giveaway.

    http://tinyurl.com/3kmaz
     
  14. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    I don't know where you are in E. Texas, but we have beaver at our place on Lake Athens. And I saw one alligator snapping turtle last year, first ever seen there according to TPWD. Nutria are generally common to E. Texas as well. With the flat tail, it's probably a beaver though. Ours built a new dam in the last two weeks; our golden retriever loves to harass him.
     
  15. Kodiak

    Kodiak New Member

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    An otter maybe?? Otters do kill fish.

    Kodiak
     
  16. :::::::::

    ::::::::: New Member

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    I donno, throw a stick of dynomite in there and see if it comes up.
     
  17. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    My vote is the Loch Ness monster is in the US on holiday. :haha:
     
  18. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    You know, I've got to point out that there are real regional differences on this board. For example, as a New Englander the possibility that I had an aligator in my pond would just never cross my mind!

    YEEEEKKKKKK.
     
  19. second_noah

    second_noah Local Yokel

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    Yeah, the Loch Ness, Big Foot and Elvis were all seen stocking up on snack cakes and slurpies at the local 7-11...
     
  20. LittleBelle

    LittleBelle Active Member

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    ooh tell people you've seen it in your pond and you could make a fortunate :haha: